12 Best Ways to Increase Productivity for Hungry Entrepreneurs
One of the worst things you can do as an up and coming entrepreneur is to have so much on your plate and leaving a lot of leftovers. In society, doing more is a sign of hard work, doing over time means having more income. But, often times when we have too much in our hands that we tend to mess everything up. A lot of people want to know the best ways to increase productivity, yet most of them resort to more work, which is absolutely something that you don’t need.
Focus is needed in everything you do. Multitasking doesn’t make you productive just like going to church doesn’t automatically make you a good person. Most of the time people associate being busy with being productive. To them, if a person is busy with so many things, he is destined to be successful, which is an absolutely wrong belief.
Productivity over busyness
There were once two friends; Alex and Michael. They were high school best friends who never lost touched of their friendship. They even went to the same college; Alex took psychology and became a therapist. Michael took engineering and later became a licensed civil engineer. During their days in secondary school, they had an incredibly mutual understanding of each other. No one thought of anyone as better than the other one. They were equal in their youthful eyes, in every aspect of their simple lives.
But, when college started, everything changed. They began to part ways as they took different courses. Each of them gained new friends, new environment, and new cultures. Unlike in high school where everything was easy and friendly. College was the exact opposite. It was harder, more challenging, and less forgiving. They experienced a culture shock. Their usual ways to increase productivity no longer worked
Suddenly, numerous factors began to plague their minds. They began to think of girls, career, sports, parties, raves, fun and more! Things that they weren’t able to do back in high school. And most of all, one of the biggest change both of them went through is the sudden increase of their ego. They want to be famous, they want to be special and have people adore them. They want to be the talk of the town.
“You know Alex, I think this will be a great year!”, Said Michael
“You’re right I can feel it too! Let’s be famous together”, Alex replied.
That’s when Alex decided to join a bunch of clubs and do more things.
“I know what will speed up that process”
“I’ll maximize my college life by trying out everything in the campus!”, Michael exclaimed.
He joined the football club together with the basketball clinic. He went to to the art society, the elite swimming team, the bookworms, and many more. He even volunteered to lead the University’s monthly celebrations.
He had so much on his plate that he couldn’t even have a good night’s rest. Every night he would do things he thought he needed to do, but it was actually useless. He thought he was doing one of the greatest ways to increase productivity, but he wasn’t. He was so busy with making a name for himself that he couldn’t realize everything he did was either ruining his other hobbies or eating him up inside.
Meanwhile, despite everything, Michael handled the pressure exceptionally well. He focused on his studies and joined only one organization – Their basketball team. He did want to be known as well, but he knows that being great at something is better than being good in a lot of things. He was happy with basketball and studying. So, for four years. He never changed, he was consistent in playing for his team, at the same time, he always had time for his studies. Unlike Michael who continued to try everything he could get his hands on.
At the peak of their senior years, both of them were able to accomplish what they want; to become famous. Michael was known by everyone. Who wouldn’t? He joined almost every organization the school has had for the last 4, years. Even in summer, he participated in his University’s activities. Although he was well-known, he wasn’t acknowledged because he was great at something, he was famous for being the jack of all trades and master of none.
On the other hand, his long-time friend, Alex was different in so many ways. He didn’t waste his time trying to be great at everything. He focused on basketball and studying. It may not seem as exciting as what Michael did, but it was way more productive.
Before graduating, the two friends decided to meet for old time sake at their favorite hangout spot – the bleachers in the football field.
They had a great time, catching up, reminiscing the old easy days, and fooling around. It was like nothing changed between them. Until Michael changed the mood.
“Can you take a look at my speech”, he said.
“For what?”, Alex asked.
“For the graduation, duh.”
“Why? Do you have an award?”
“Who knows, come on, it’s me!” Alex exclaimed with pride.
After that, they both went home to prepare for their big day tomorrow – their most awaited graduation.
Both of them saw each other in the graduation ceremony, but they didn’t have the time to talk. After the ceremony. Alex was shocked. It turned out he wasn’t the one who was going to give a speech, Michael was.
Alex – the hyperactive guy who insisted on going to every event and participating in every activity, gained nothing. While Michael who only stayed consistent with his education and basketball team was awarded as the most outstanding person in his batch. Having both titles of magna cum laude and mythical 5, he was recognized as a role model of the campus; people look up to him and wanted to be like him. They saw him as the perfect idol to base their college life in.
Meanwhile, Michael, who wanted to be famous, was forgotten and left to dust. He did so much that none of them produced results. He would do something, stay for a while, leave it and do another thing, then repeat. And on and on the cycle continues. He did not know the best ways to increase productivity like Alex naturally did.
In the end, Michael got everything Alex wanted, not because he pursued it, but because he focused only on a few things and in return it great results were born. Alex is the pure definition of being busy, while Michael is the meaning of productivity.
Productive results are the key
When most people think of success, they think that one of the best ways to increase productivity and achieve success is by doing, doing, and doing. Not minding the fact that most of what they do are useless. They are engulfed with the idea of more work is equal to more result.
Being busy is the simply the instance when a person commits to doing too many tasks simultaneously, that in the end he never gets anything done. While being productive is the art of being selective. Knowing that you can’t do everything on your own. It may include delegating tasks to other people, paying attention to important things only.
You could start 5 different business simultaneously, but fail in everything. or you could focus on only one major business and it will give you an abundance of wealth. In life, it’s not about how much you do, it’s how and what you do that really makes an impact in your life. There are a lot of people out there that are working 9-to-5 jobs everyday, and they still find a way to do a sideline job. The result? They get more income, but they are more prone to burnout and failure
Doing too much doesn’t only strain your mental and physical health, it also sabotages your chances of success. You can make what you are currently making in your 9-to-5 job, or even more, with just 4 hours a week. How? By selecting the important tasks and doing only what you really need to do. There are many ways to increase productivity, but the key principle is always being selective about the tasks that you want to pursue.
For example, in the story above Michael didn’t measure the how much will the activities he joined affect his life, in return, he had many sleepless nights, he never accomplished anything significant, and most importantly he wasted so much time on useless things. On the other hand, Alex did pretty well on his own, because he understands the value of time and how important it is not to waste it. So, he only took the tasks that will really help him in his school life and future career.
You don’t have to be an expert in time-management in order to be productive. You just have to understand that time is a very precious gift, and if you’re going to waste it on nonsense, then you’re just being busy, not productive. So, in order to help you with this dilemma here are 14 best ways to increase productivity as a hungry entrepreneur!
1. Have your whole day planned out
One of the most common things that almost everybody do is neglecting to plan out their activities for the day. If you’re guilty of doing this, then you might have experienced as if time goes by way too fast, but in reality, it doesn’t. You just suck at managing your time (sorry for that)
But to be fair, it’s okay not to plan your day, if and only if, you don’t aim to be successful and finish something great. If you only want to sit on the couch all day, that’s alright, you don’t need to read this. But, if you’re a hungry entrepreneur who’s out there hustling 24/7 for success then I highly suggest that you plan for tomorrow, every time before you go to sleep.
People who just let things happen anytime it happens are people who don’t control their lives. They are slaves to their laziness because by not controlling the activities revolving around your life, you are putting your future at great risk, it will soon end up eating your productivity and time. Both of which are very important in the life of an entrepreneur.
Even just by planning what you eat and when you’ll throw out the trash, can already make you more productive and give you more time for the rest of the day. This is the first thing you should learn if you want to know what are the best ways to increase productivity.
2. Be predictable
– In life, predictability is boring. That’s why a lot of people tend to quit too easily because they got tired of the familiarity in their life. But, in business and investing. Being predictable can be a huge asset. Take for example, when investing for the long-term in stocks. It’s highly advised to follow a simple predictable strategy to avoid loss. You buy the same stocks every time (unless the strategy has change), month after month and you hold on to them until it matures. It doesn’t matter if there’s a black swan or economic crisis, you still continue to follow the plan. And after a few years, you reap the profit.
Just like in life, you attain success by following a simple plan, a “predictable” guide. People are so busy with finding the magic solution, looking for complication in their lives. But, they don’t realize it has been under their nose the entire time.
The reason why this is one of the best ways to increase productivity is simple; because it works. And the reason why most people don’t believe this is because most of us were raised with the idea that if the solution is simple, then it’s wrong. Being predictable is not just being monotone and simplicity, it’s applying what works and sticking to it. That way you’ll save more energy and time, thus being more productive.
– One of the written values in the fabric of the universe is that consistency always breeds results. The only reason why a lot of people fail in life is that they choose to give up instead of pursuing what they want. They don’t understand, true failure isn’t when you fall down, it happens when you refuse to stand up.
Take for example, if you’re a girl and you have two suitors; (A) Rich, handsome, but rarely has time for you, and (B) Middle-class, normal-looking, but is consistent and always makes time for you. Which one would you pick? A or B?
Consistent Action, effort, and work will always step on dormant “skills”, it doesn’t matter how good you are at a job or task, if there is someone who isn’t as good as you, but is so much more consistent than you, he will probably replace you in no time. This is one of the best ways to increase productivity – consistency!
Don’t get it wrong, skills are important, but being consistent in producing results is still on the top of the skill set that every entrepreneur should have. In the real world, if you decide to give up on your business it’s done, it’s gone. But, if you choose to keep it running even though it’s already falling, someday it will bounce back, and you’ll be a proud owner of a very successful business.
4. Do more than everybody else
– Note: This should not be associated with being busy. There’s a thin grey line between busyness and doing more for productive results. As I’ve said before, busyness occurs when you do so much without taking into account what that task is for, how would you do it and what’s the actual reason why you’re doing it.
If you’re just going to do exactly what everybody does, then you’ll get what everybody has – average results. It takes an extraordinary person to produce extraordinary results, you have to surpass everyone in your field or at least play at a level that aims to get ahead of them. Otherwise, you won’t maximize your life and apply the best ways to increase productivity.
Being part of the flock of sheep is not what you want in your life, nobody wants that but somehow a lot of people end up in dead-end boring cubicle jobs, working from 9-5 and giving average results just to finish their life-draining work and go home.
Most of them don’t care about the quality of the work that they’re submitting, they just care about getting it done. If you want to be different, then you have to take the road less traveled. Produce quality results, build a business and work 10 times harder than the people around you.
5. Trade results for pleasure
– At some point, everybody is guilty of laying down work for a little bit of rest and relaxation, but some people take it to the extreme, making relaxation the highlight of their everyday lives, and ultimately neglecting their work. Now, if you’re already successful you can do that (for a while), but if you’re an up and coming entrepreneur or any professional in that matter, it’s never worth trading late success for instant short-term satisfaction.
Learn the art of delayed gratification, work now, grind as hard as you can and you’ll multiply your pleasure tenfold in the future. Instead of temporarily enjoying your life now, wait – and permanently enjoy it after a few years. This is one of the best ways to increase productivity because there are a lot of distractions in our daily lives and being aware of it plus, choosing to avoid it is a great way to produce results.
Pleasure and work have always been parallel, except if you love your work. That’s why most experts advise that you should do what you love because that way, you’ll never work a day in your life. The secret quality that most successful people have is patience.
They know that playing the waiting game can potentially lead to more rewards. Even if they have time to enjoy short-term pleasure, they postpone it for long-term enjoyment. That is the attitude you must have to produce maximum results.
6. Don’t oversleep
People love to sleep, they love it too much that even some of them sleep for half the day. One of the most common notions of most people is that the more sleep you get, the more energized your body is. But, that is complete nonsense and is not backed up by thorough research. There are incredibly successful entrepreneurs out there who only sleep for 4 hours a day, some even 2! They call it “power sleep” – is a nap that’s long enough to get you through the day, but not so long that it makes you groggy or unable to sleep at night.
But, you don’t need to master the power sleep if you don’t fancy it. The real problem here is oversleeping. The human (adult) body only needs a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per day to make it healthy, make sure your body’s immune system is active, and provide ample time for muscle regeneration (If you’re going to the gym). 6 hours of sleep is the optimal time, no more no less.
A lot of people sleep for 12 hours per day if you sleep for only 6 hours but still get the benefits of a 12-hour nap. Imagine the enormous work gap advantage you have against the 12-hour people. You could start a business plan, you could sell 3 properties, you could make more connections and go to more places in those extra few hours and that’s just for the day! What if you could consistently do that? Your productivity will immensely increase, leaving the lazy people behind by hundreds of miles.
This is the sole reason why oversleeping is hailed as one of the leeches in attaining success, and how avoiding it can be one of the best ways to increase productivity. I get it, sleeping is relaxing, but you can’t get to where you want to be just by relaxing. You have to make sacrifices and hustle like it’s your last day on earth. Take this with you, everyday you have 24 hours, 6 of those goes to sleep, you still have 18 more remaining to spend it with your family, read a book, talk to your investors, or invent a product. Instead of sleeping it away, make use of every second you have. Moneycan be brought back, but you cannot take back wasted time.
7. Find people as driven as you
Most of the time, there are individuals who love to work all by themselves even in business. However, teamwork is a pre-requisite for success, the day will still come when they will be needing help from another person to compensate for something that they cannot do. Every great business has a team. Teamwork structure plays a very important role in the success of the business. You could have an average organization, but partner it with driven people who intends to make the organization into a success-devouring monster, and you’ll just be amazed at how reliable great people can be – they will take you to the top.
There are hundreds of business owners out there who flunked in their businesses because of selfish employees. You have to understand that it doesn’t matter how big and powerful your organization is if it’s rotting from the inside – it will inevitably fall. You won’t notice it until it’s too late. Everyone lives for self-interest, other just hide it better, and if you hired one of those pretenders, you can kiss your business goodbye.It may look harmless now, but when the termite has eaten enough wood, it will suddenly collapse.
But, that isn’t the only reason why you should seek people who are as driven as you. The main reason why you need these people in your life is for constant motivation. There’s no greater feeling than being motivated by others to do what you want to do. It will give you energy, willpower, and the inspiration to push through especially in times when you feel like giving up.
One of the best ways to increase productivity and success is by avoiding toxic people and seeking the driven ones. By doing that you don’t only filter the bad from the good, you also save time, energy and daylight. Having “these” people besides you through thick and thin will really boost your morale and make you a better person, hence also making your business flourish.
Although, finding these people will take a lot of time. Everything won’t just suddenly “click” into place. You won’t get all of it in one day because great partners take time to arrive. So, don’t rush it, good things take time. For the meantime, do what you have to do to elevate yourself and your business.
8. Remove distractions
Imagine doing your office work while watching the television, or writing a book while talking to someone on the phone, or even drinking water while breathing, okay I exaggerated the last one. But, the point is what if you did your work while interacting with all of these “tiny” distractions? The tendency is that you’ll never get anything done. You might finish your work but, it will lack quality. At best, it will be half-finish.
One of the best ways to increase productivity and get things done easily is by simply avoiding the little things that we think are “harmless” in our lives. Like, watching the scheduled television program, playing online video games, spending hours on Facebook, or even just browsing the web for something entertaining.
Ask yourself, is it really worth your time? What will you be able to achieve if you did one of these things instead of doing something productive? The best answer – Nothing. You will gain absolutely nothing from these time-fillers. These things will only waste your time, kill your effectiveness in your work, and persuade you to constantly interact with them – which will ultimately make you just like everybody else – average.
What you want in your life is to do something that will actually provide you with value. Things that won’t take your time for granted, tasks that will take you to the next level and set you apart from everybody else. The best activities in the world are the ones that produce quality results, not useless entertainment. If you want to be productive, learn how to cut these distractions in your life.
9. Absolute focus
Most of the time, the reason why we don’t get things done is because we don’t actually want it done. Sound crazy, right? It’s not. When we want something done, we subconsciously find ways to solve the problem, and in that process, we also find other problems that weren’t even there in the first place. Without noticing the change, we end up solving these “extra” problems as well.
It’s the same when you’re approaching your work. If you don’t give it your absolute focus, your mind will end up exploring uncharted waters and take home with it a little bit of a souvenir – extra problems.
Take, for example, a high school friend of mine Gerald, who is a professional plumber. Now, one day he had a client with a clogged sink. So, as usual, he checked the sink and he found the problem – there was a lot of disposed oil in the main sink that hardened over time.
There was a simple solution – replace the tube. But, he thought that he could fix it with less hassle, so he tried to find another way. Instead of replacing the old tube, he opted to fix it. Which was a really bad idea because he ended up having more problems, to begin with.
10. Take a break
Burnouts and fatigue can cost more harm than just settling down for a bit of rest. One of the mistakes that new entrepreneurs make is trying to do everything on their own because of the notion that “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself”. Although they do get the exact results that they want, they also experience work overload and burnouts. Isn’t it the reason why you wanted to become an entrepreneur is to make money work for you? By working yourself too much, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you want.
If you’re a new business owner, learn to delegate trustworthy people to manage your business so that you can rest and worry about the bigger things in life. Taking a break every now and then, even if it’s just a ten-minute break, it could really increase your energy level and prompt you to do more and in more efficient way than before.
That’s because while you are mind and body are relaxing, your mental prowess is subconsciously working on finding new ways to tackle the task at hand. Even if you don’t notice it, our brains are programmed to adapt to the environment and search for more possible solutions that could make our lives more comfortable.
This may not be what you thought about when someone says what are the best ways to increase productivity? But, trust me this habit will save you hundreds of hours you could use to improve your business and your work ethic. You don’t want to walk around like an overworked zombie all day; it’s both unpleasing and unproductive. A person who only works 4 hours a week, has enough of sleep and knows how to do things efficiently can produce way more results than someone who “works” 18 hours a day.
11. Eat right
This might seem like an obnoxiously obvious advice, but still, not many people eat right. Some of them don’t even have proper diet and nutrition – which is really vital in the hustle or get left behind life of an entrepreneur. It’s not just about energy, it’s also about staying healthy in the long run. If you smoke, drink and do drugs, not that it’s my business, but those things will only slow you down if you want to become truly successful. Not eating right is as bad as having addictive and toxic vices – soon enough your body’s immune system will deteriorate, you’ll become weaker, slower in processing information, and become more of a liability for your business than an asset.
Think of it like a snowball effect; at first, you won’t see the difference in your bad eating habits. But, as time goes by, slowly but surely your body will take continuously work against you until it can no longer work for you. It is not hard to eat healthy, and you’re not required to eat vegetables and go vegan. You can indulge in your sinful cravings as long as you keep it in moderation. The most important thing to remember is to eat a balanced meal three times a day.
12. Have the urgency mindset
Knowing the best ways to increase productivity and internalizing it is not enough. Actually, you can forget about all of the things that I have said before, if you only take this piece of advice form this article, you’ll be 100X more productive than before! What is the secret? It’s actually not a secret formula, but a state of mind. In order to maximize your days, and produce quality results, you have to understand that your days are finite. And that you need to approach every day with the urgency to finish your work. You can’t say you’ll do it tomorrow, or later, because when you make that excuse, later become never. You’re just burying yourself in an endless hole of excuses and regrets.
When you feel lazy just remember: The greatest failures aren’t the mistakes that you’ve made, but the regret that you have for all the missed opportunities that you let pass you through your life. In the business of entrepreneurship you can’t take the whole day off, otherwise, you have someone you can delegate your job to. Why? Because you won’t know when a customer would buy your products, you won’t predict when someone will buy the property you are selling, or the product you are marketing. The only sure way to cover more ground and maximize every hour of your every day is by approaching the world with the urgency of finishing your work; no excuses, no-left-turns.